The Causes and Treatment of Loud Ringing in the Ears
If you have ever experienced a loud ringing sound inthe ears that may sometimes follow a sharp report such as firework or gunshot, then you will have some idea of the plight to which the chronic tinnitus sufferer is subjected. However, you will need to imagine that same brief sensation magnified many times and persisting throughout every hour of the day and night for a lifetime before you can really come close to an understanding of just why this condition can be so debilitating.
In severe cases, the continuous intrusive noise can make it impossible for a victim to engage in conversation, to meet his or her job requirements or even to sleep unless absolutely exhausted. Many of those afflicted in this way may suffer depression and feel that life is simply not worth living. So, what exactly is this condition and what are its likely causes? Well we have already mentioned that acoustic shock can have this effect but, in this occasional, once-off type of situation, it will only be a temporary discomfort.
It is, however, appropriate to look for a cause as tinnitus – rather like a headache or a raised temperature – is only a symptom and not an actual disease process. In fact, even in chronic cases, prolonged and repeated exposure to loud noise is commonly implicated and has now become the most common cause of hearing loss in young people.
A persistent rather than temporary and a mild to fairly loud ringing inthe ears is almost always seen in cases of noise-related hearing loss. Along with partial deafness, it is also among the symptoms encountered in infections of the middle and outer ear, as the result of excessive wax build-up or a side-effect of nasal allergies that will often lead to Eustachian blockages. In such cases, both the tinnitus and the auditory impairment are normally just temporary occurrences and will invariably disappear following treatment with an effective antibiotic or other appropriate medication. However, having said that, it should also be mentioned that certain medications have actually been implicated among the other possible causes of this distressing symptom. When induced in this manner, the condition is described by doctors and audiologists as ototoxic tinnitus.
The condition is generally a purely subjective one and so not quantifiable by objective tests. However, in a few cases, clicks and crackling resulting from muscle spasms or a pulsing in time to the heartbeat may be detected during the examination and are examples of the objective form. Should you visit one of The Ear Institute centres complaining of loud ringing inthe ears, we would conduct a thorough evaluation of your auditory function and, where we do not have an ENT specialist on hand, refer your case for more in-depth evaluation or treatment of the underlying cause where indicated.
Alternatively, where hearing impairment is found to be compensated by an amplification device we would make recommendations and supply the aid which, should also alleviate the unwanted noise to a varying degree. Alternatively, The Ear Institute is able to provide an electronic device which is very effective in helping severe sufferers to better manage the distraction. For those less afflicted by loud ringing inthe ears, we also provide a proven-effective oral medication.